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A day with John Constable on Hampstead Heath

Dawn

The first sketch is characteristic of early morning on a convectively unstable day. Before the ground is warmed by the sun, triggering the formation of buoyant thermals, the sky is cloudless, the only feature being the lighter horizon and darker zenith. Frequently, there will be a few wisps of stratus cloud. Constable shows us two examples, number two with clouds high in the sky, number three with clouds near the horizon. Often, these clouds will be the remnants of cumulus clouds formed the previous day and which have steadily dissipated overnight.

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